Effective Stewardship

A Church Can Operate Without Funds (Or Can It?)

Ken Williams

A church sent this announcement to its membership:

We have discovered a way for our church to function without money. Will you cooperate?

Each member will come to services dressed warmly enough to eliminate any necessity for heating the building. This will eliminate the fuel bill.

Each member will take his or her turn playing the organ. Then no organist or music director will be needed — that is, if each one in turn will direct the choirs, the congregational singing, and arrange for rehearsals.

Each member will come to church with broom and dust mop to keep his or her part of the building presentable. Then a paid custodian will not be necessary.

Those who wish to use water will bring their own bottles.

Each will provide his or her own hymnal and music in the choir.

Each member will bring materials and tools to remodel and repair the building. Here we can really save money.

Each member will spend some time working in the church office. If one desires a copy of the church bulletin or order of service, he or she will bring supplies for printing same. This will eliminate the expense of office help and equipment.

Each member will take a turn preaching, leading the services, conducting funerals, performing marriages, calling on members and prospects, visiting the sick, and guiding the administration of the church. This will save the expense of a pastor.

And finally, each one must agree to spend at least a year as a missionary on some field at his or her own expense. This will dispense with missionary offerings.

Thus, we can become known as “the church that needs no money.” What a sight it will make for men, women, boys and girls, bundled up from head to foot, walking dutifully to church carrying water bottles, brooms, dust mops, sheet music, sermon manuscripts, hammers, saws and other such baggage. Is this a great idea or what?

Yes, a church can operate without funds — or can it? Would we really want to operate in this manner? You see, the people who make up the church are the ones who use the heat, lights and water. People are the beneficiaries of the pastor, the office force, the church staff and the custodian. And in the final analysis, people for whom Christ died on the cross of Calvary in order to provide eternal life are the reason a church ought to exist.

Yes, I guess a church can operate without funds if it has no ministry or outreach to people in Christ’s name. If it does, though, it will need to experience regularly God’s faithfulness as demonstrated through His children as they use their time, talents and treasure to make possible the life and ministry of the local church.

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